20 March 2007

Scratching Away at Prayer

Christianne was so good as to open up about another step in her journey as a writer. What follows is not much (I typed it out unedited last night), but I've written a very raw draft of my own prayer about what I trust is my calling. I'm not entirely sure why I am posting it; I simply trust that it is something I should make public as our gifts are not meant for ourselves, but for the building up of the Body of Christ.

Lord, I am not sure why You have done it, but You’ve made me to be a writer. Of all the things I know, so little seems to be completely black and white (perhaps I'm prone to over-analyze things, even my propensity to over-analyze). One thing I have come to know for sure is that I am lost without You; another is that You have made me for the task of writing. But as I pull out my laptop yet one more time I am faced with a writer’s nightmare: I have nothing to say. There are no gleaming strokes of genius at the keyboard here today.

I look at the brilliant list of ideas I’ve brainstormed and now find them lifeless, dull, prosaic. I am uninspired when I look at them. I feel unequal to the task to which You've called me.

You gave this to me as a gift Lord, and I need to trust that You will perfect it. As I was sinking into obscurity in a dull, soul-sucking, mind-numbing job, You’ve called me to step out and write. I was trying to hide in the shadows, but You want to shine through me. I suppose I am afraid of all it will mean to be obedient, of what it means to be called out of hiding, to live the life you have for me.

What will I say? You will let me plug away at my brilliant-but-boring ideas until I realize that on my own, I have little to say that will be of value to anyone who reads it. You will perfect my gift, but I first need to let you. You will give me the ideas, but I must ask, and then let You give them. I will find the voice You gave me; You will refine it. I so desperately desire to honor You with what You've given and I confess I’ve been attempting to do it entirely in my own power. No wonder I am so lost.

May I hold my gift with open hands to You always, trusting that He who gave it will not leave me unattended in its use. Breathe on me; make fresh what has been stagnant. Teach me to trust your perfect timing.


  1. Well, now, this is funny... I just asked you to tell me about your writing (over in the comments on Seedlings), and here I am, and here you are telling!

    I like to hear people's stories related to their writing, so I hope you share more as time goes on. As I look at your prayer, it reminds me of the talk I just gave this morning... A Walk in the Park...

    ... so here's my prayer for you right here, right now... Lord, untie this soul, untie Kirsten and her doubts and worries, and lead her into this gift in ways she never expected, and let her trust the process and your hand in it. Amen.

  2. Laura - you are so kind! I will be sharing more of my journey as I embark upon it & learn to trust the Lord's leading in this.

    I just read your talk - it is just what I needed to hear. I still marvel at how and when the Lord brings us a timely, much-needed word. I was particularly struck by just saying "yes" to the gift without being overburdened by the pressure of what the results will be. I think that's where I've gotten myself hung up at times. I was also struck by how the Lord chooses to need us. He is certainly big enough to do the work without us, but He chooses to say, "Untie that donkey. The Lord needs it."

    I am both blessed and humbled, and thank God that He used you to give me the word that I needed at just the right time.

  3. Kirsten,

    What a beautiful prayer. Know that He hears the cries of your heart. Know also that sometimes the point is not in the writing. Sometimes it is something far and away completely different. The point is to find your life in Him alone. He will lead you there, and He will also lead your writing.

  4. Exactly, Christianne. The point is not the writing. I got so excited about that that sadly, I was missing the point & your own post reminded me of that (how easily I forget). My own writing felt dead to me precisely because (I believe) I was missing God in all of it. Reading LL's talk on Psalm 139 shed much light for me.

  5. That is very sweet that you read the talk. I'm glad you found some comfort, some solace, a way to wait in and on God's hand.

  6. How long, O Lord, until I learn?! It seems that by my own stubborn insistence, I learn these lessons over & over ...

    Thank goodness our God is a patient one!

  7. Laura's talk shed much light for me too. We are all in this learning -- or, as Denise Levertov liked to put it, "in the gloaming" -- together!

  8. kirsten....i think this prayer wafted up to the heavens and was a wonderful fragrance to God........

  9. Kirsten, thank you for sharing this. In many ways, you voiced the toilings of my own heart.